Letters, Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

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We must prepare for heritage boom

THE City of Adelaide project was scuppered by a stronger bid from Australia because the majority of councillors of all parties failed to get behind it. Neither did the Echo show any will to mount a vigorous press campaign beyond reporting.

I supported the project primarily because it seemed a historical addition to a tourist area that would bring hundreds of service industry jobs, particularly for school leavers.

To quote from The Adelaide Advertiser’s article: “the clipper is set to become a major tourist attraction” and “fifteen SA firms around Adelaide have jointly funded the cradle”. The Mayor of Adelaide says The clipper’s arrival will reinvigorate the area and attract thousands of tourists.

However, all is far from lost for Sunderland. The news was reported last week that 2012 will herald the final decision whether St Peter’s Church and Jarrow Monastery will attain World Heritage Site status. Having visited all but two of our GB heritage sites, I hope councillors of all parties can put aside their political differences for once to work together putting plans in place for the possibility of welcoming thousands of tourists.

Very extensive coach and car parks will be required. Our impossible road signs and markings must be made stranger-friendly. All approach roads to the centre are visually attractive. Toward the centre all become nightmares for strangers. It needs sorting out. Yes, explore the Vaux site until heritage status is decided. Hotels, shops, car parks? Do not let Tyneside beat us. Make it a true partnership.

Ken Spencer, Ashbrooke, Sunderland

Pool poser

I HAD to smile at the irony of Sunderland Council being urged to invest in Seaburn seafront to stop people leaving Sunderland for South Shields to use their planned new pool.

I have been taking my children to enjoy the leisure facilities at Temple Park, South Shields, since Crowtree Leisure Pool was closed and not adequately replaced. My children are now four and five and enjoy wave machines, slides and having their feet touch the ground from time to time in the water, not swimming up and down in straight lines.

Shortly after the Aquatic Centre opened, the council was busting a gut to tell us that footfall was higher than for Crowtree. Not surprising, as swimming was free for children and OAPs at the time.Could we have some up-to-date figures, please?

Not all bad news for the city having an Olympic-sized pool, though, as we were top when it came to drawing up the plan for the route of the Olympic torch!

Karen Coates

Council spending

HERE is some information on a range of council expenditure:

Seaburn Fountain – total cost: £197,415. The council received

£119,775 of external grant funding, which meant the cost to the council was £77,640.

Lights of Glass “Ambit” floating river sculpture – the cost of the sculpture was £250,000, but there was no direct cost to the council.

Wearmouth Bridge metal structure in the Market Square – the cost was about £100,000, with £75,000 being funded from external grant, leaving £25,000 that was funded by the council.

Play area, Diamond Hall, Millfield, concrete stepping stones – Total cost: £109,878, and was funded entirely from the Government’s Play Pathfinder grant and developers’ contributions, with no subsequent cost to the council.

Clock in the Market Square – the clock was relocated to High Street West (near Argos).

Public toilets, Market Square – removed as part of the Bridges development and relocated inside the Bridges.

Now the sauna and soft play are closing down in Crowtree Leisure Centre. The sauna is well supported. I am so disgusted with the money that has been wasted yet they can’t keep the sauna open.

I am blind and I won’t be able to find other places on my own.

Reg Pallas

Say no to club

WITH reference to the article on September 22, as one of many in Sunderland (religious and secular), I share the concerns and views of Fr Christopher Jackson about the application for a swingers’ club in our city.

One of the reasons why our society is sick is because so many young people fall victims to immorality. They need to learn to respect the dignity of each human person and of married life. It is with deep Christian compassion for our young people that we view this situation.

It would be a disgrace to our city, so steeped in rich Christian heritage and learning, to allow this venue, even if it did not break the laws of the land.

God’s laws of love and fidelity call each of us to a better and happier response.

We pray for our our councillors to see the dangers of such a club and use their powers to foster and encourage respect for family life.

Mary Hastings, Sunderland